Monday, December 26, 2011

UP IN THE SKY (storms, fireworks, butterflies)

This was Christmas week so, in addition to walking through the events of the week, we will include some photos of the signs of the holiday season here.

Monday morning at staff devotions, we found out that, on Saturday, Liliana had 3 broken ribs as a result of a handyman falling from a ladder in her home, on top of her! She came into the office late, wearing a brace to hold her together as she heals, and she is very sore. Since it’s the last week of this working year, though, she must be here; lots of accounting and year-end payroll to accomplish! We’ll pray daily for her swift recovery, but we know it will take time.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Christmas 2011
Merry Christmas to all our family and friends! We pray that in this season you will understand and know more of the ‘Reason for the Season’ – Jesus Christ!
This has been a DIFFERENT year for us in several ways!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pre-Holiday activities

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This week, we were not looking forward to an-even-quieter compound. Carlos & Robin Radi and their 3 girls left on Monday for their 3-month Home Assignment. And Sarah, on Tuesday, started to distribute the things she would not be taking home; she’s going back to Ohio to stay. While we wish she was sticking around, we benefited greatly with additional baking dishes and foodstuffs. Wednesday, she added more things for us to use and some to store for the next missionary… She has been here for 4 years, this stint, and has been a wealth of information about living here in Pilar! It will be so strange not having her next door and available to ask advice… she’s nuts about Argentina!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tech Team week

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Monday, Dan headed off for the bus before I started out for the Regional Office. He spent the day with the “techies”. I collected time cards and tried to enter stamped times in a spreadsheet I made for more accurate record-keeping. The ribbon in the machine is totally worn out, so I had to read the indentations!  I hope I asked the right person about getting a replacement; this has been going on for some time!  At home, we skyped with Erica (missionary candidate) and then with Erica (daughter)!  This was a long and full day!  It’s great to see the missionary candidates’ progress as they work through the process of God’s call and getting ‘ready to go’!  And it was great to catch up with our youngest, who is keeping everything in order at the house and screening mail and bills for us. She’s got a busy life too with work and friends and church.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New Friends and more...

Sunday, 4 December, 2011
It’s almost impossible to conceive, for a girl who’s lived most of her life in Illinois, that this can be December, wearing tees and capris and fighting off mosquitos…

Monday was an Argentine holiday, so we didn’t go to work and we had scheduled an online language lesson, recommended by some missionary friends who know Spanish well, Joel and Pam Tooley! We’re working with people at the Nazarene Seminary in Costa Rica to experience CALL (computer-assisted language learning) by Skype. We spent almost 2 hours with a neat lady named Gaby, getting to know each other so she can know at what levels we are in our Spanish comprehension. It was a answer to prayer. A little later, we Skyped with our Missions Coaching leader, Hal, and caught up with him.

The Rojas Family
That evening, we walked down to see Wilmar and Jessica Rojas and their 2 boys. They’ll be leaving in a few days for Home Assignment, based in Austin, Texas. I had asked Jessica when she could teach me how to make corn tortillas and she offered to have us over! We hope that our Missouri District friends will get to know them too; they are fun, generous and dedicated!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011

27 November 2011
New week, new adventures!  It’s a standing policy that for the offices here to close, it must be a holiday celebrated in this country – completely understandable!  So we’ll work each day this week, as usual, but we’re planning a big Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday evening!  All the missionaries are invited, even if they aren’t from the States!  There will be a turkey and we’ll all ‘potluck’ the other dishes. I’m excited!  It will still be an unusual Thanksgiving, but fun!   (Anyway, there’s an Argentine holiday next Monday, so we’ll get a day off then!)

Monday night, Sarah, Thea, Dan, and I took the public bus to the Seminary asado/graduation party in the Convention Center (arriving too early, as usual!).  The seating area had been transformed to a dining area, with long tables already set with tablecloths, candles floating in bowls, table settings… and a buffet table set with traditional foods, starting with empanadas (me gusta, I love these!).  The salads were interesting and all very tasty – lettuce salad, potato salad with carrots, beet salad with hard-boiled egg. Things really got going when the asador, the grill-man, started making trips past our tables with different kinds and cuts of meat! First there was the chorizo sausage, then beef ribs (demonstrated by pointing to his own ribs for those of us that are still language challenged!), and more large chunks – all delicious and too much!  On top of that, there was graduation cake!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

GS visit & Seminary Graduation

Sunday, 20 November 2011
This past week had several ups and downs for me, as are to be expected, but the ‘downs’ are still… downs.  We’re both experiencing more expectations by our co-workers, as they gain confidence in our skills and our reliability.  That’s definitely gratifying.  Some travel arrangements for dignitaries had to be changed, which created adjustments for many people here.  Adjustments and flexibility are just facts of life!

We ‘Skyped’ twice this week, once with Salazars, a couple with whom we have a missions-coaching relationship, and with daughter Erica.  The Salazars are wonderful, dedicated people; it’s great getting to know them!  Erica caught us up on the mail at home and was so excited about her evening plans – she had won the opportunity to ride on the Zamboni at the St. Louis Blues Hockey game that night!  And it was so fun to see her photos shared on Facebook the next morning!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Interesting week

Sunday, 13 November 2011

This has been an interesting week! It seems like more of my office skills are being used now, while still copying documents and scheduling literature orders to be shipped.

We had a bad storm Tuesday night with LOTS of rain and heavy winds! Usually I enjoy a listening to a little rain on the roof but, with the outside of this house being MOSTLY roof, the auditory enjoyment was a little lost when it sounded like the wind was going to REMOVE the roof! We lost power at about 4:30 a.m. We got up as usual anyway (to Dan’s phone alarm) and showered and fixed breakfast, thankful that the hot water heater and the stove are NOT electric!! After morning staff devotions, the power came back on – AND the Internet, just in time for all of us to get on our computers and work!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Exploring with friends

Saturday 5 November 2011
Thursday evening we had stayed up later than usual, Dan on his computer and me on mine, catching up on our journal for the blog.  Friday morning I woke up crying! But quickly I figured out why – while I had spent the previous evening journaling our adventures, I really wanted to tell all this to my mother – and I can’t. She died in a car accident 12 years ago.  She would have been fascinated to hear all about our travels – all the people and the customs and the fun little bits of information.  She would have enjoyed the adjustments I’m making as I shop for food and cook, all the other details that she always delighted in.
The rest of Friday was certainly better, as we had Thea join us for some homemade soup for lunch.  And Friday evening, we were invited by Sarah and Cindy to join them at Jorge & Irma Julca’s home on the campus of Semario Nazareno for a movie!   We rode the bus with Sarah to the Seminary, walked to Cindy’s apartment, then across campus to the home of the Seminary President!  We met his wife and daughters and several others who were getting together for snacks and conversation and watching the movie “Unknown” – what suspense!  It’s an excellent movie and, fortunately for us, it was in English with Spanish sub-titles.  Jorge even gave us a ride home well after midnight!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Settling in... our first 3 weeks

SAM Region Logo
Our current tasks... here is a brief description of our assignments here followed by some of the details of our first 3 weeks as we are settling in.
Dan: I am being kept busy with a variety of projects that are using my IT background and related skills.  The details aren't important but I am enjoying the diversity of work from sorting through equipment to detailing out of some hand drawn building plans in preparation for some office moves next year, to cleaning up and revising a web site.  Of course this all has to begin with learning about whats here, who to work with and how things are done as well as finding and learning or relearning hardware and software tools to make the job easier.  Call me crazy but God knows this is the sort of stuff I enjoy and He does promise to give us the desires of our heart...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Arriving in Argentina

Friday 14 Oct 2011
Our Flight
We made it! A very nice, bilingual lady was willing to swap seats on the plane so we could sit together on the 10-hour flight. We were served a nice dinner (chicken, veggies, pasta) and a breakfast of egg-biscuit, yogurt, juice and coffee. We landed in Buenos Aires just a little later than scheduled; a tailwind helped make up for a late start from Atlanta. Having sat in the back of the plane (last ones off!), it took some time to get through Customs and retrieve our luggage, but Thea Hansen was there to meet us – how good it was to see a smiling and familiar (from Skyping) face! She had arrived 2 hours earlier with driver Ricardo (who we remembered from our participation with Extreme Nazarene Ministries here almost 4 years ago). Our ride to Pilar took over an hour but some of the highway ride looked familiar. Ricardo happened to mention coffee and, finding out that there was a new Starbucks at Las Palmas (the shopping center closest to where we’re staying), we decided to get revived before we actually got to our new home.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

God's Plan - 2011

While it's just been a short time since Janet resigned from working at Joy FM, our local Christian radio station, God's certainly been working "behind" the scenes!  We communicated to the Mission Mobilization office that we were more available, and soon we were told of an opportunity that could use both our sets of business skills!

After a few electronic communications to clarify the assignment and schedules, we've finalized the details for travel.  In only 2 weeks we'll be on the ground in Pilar, Argentina (just outside Buenos Aires), for an-almost-6-month stay!